oppn parties Maharashtra: Stunning Development Sees BJP-NCP Government

News Snippets

  • SC says it will revisit its definition of 'Hindutva' in the light of growing hate speeches
  • Indigo reduces the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra to three months after an inquiry committee finds that it was a Level 1 offense not meriting a 6-month ban
  • Akali Dal MP Naresh Gujral says Delhi Police did not act on his phone call asking them to help 16 people trapped in riot-hit areas
  • AAP councillor Tahir Hussain, booked for murder and arson, says he is being framed
  • New HC bench allows the Delhi Police plea that the situation is no conducive to the filing of FIRs and also allows the Centre to become a party to the case
  • Justice S Muralidhar of the Delhi High Court, who was part of the bench that pulled up the Delhi Police for not filing FIRs against BJP leaders for hate speeches, transferred to Punjab HC
  • Two Special Investigation Teams (SITs) of Crime Branch in Delhi Police have been formed under DCP Joy Tirkey and DCP Rajesh Deo. The teams will immediately take over the investigations of the cases related to northeast Delhi violence. Both the teams will be under the supervision of BK Singh, additional commissioner of police (Crime Branch)
  • Sporadic violence was reported from riot-hit areas in the capital as the intensity of the madness seems to have abated. The death toll has risen to 37
  • Special DG (Training) in CRPF, S N Shrivastava, appointed special commissioner (law & order) in Delhi Police in order to quell the violence. He is also expected to take over as chief of Delhi police once Amulya Patnaik's term ends on February 29
  • Curfew and shoot at sight orders reportedly in force in some areas, but Delhi Police HQ does not issue a notice for the same
  • The Central government has pressed paramilitary forces to control the riots in Delhi
  • Mobs in Delhi target journalists, check them for religious identity and snatch equipment
  • 13 people deal until now in one of the worst spells of violence in Delhi
  • Violence in Delhi shows no signs of abating with fresh areas in the north-eastern part of the capital coming under its grip
  • Delhi High Court says DGCA was wrong in approving the flying ban on stand-up comic Kunal Kamra by airlines other than Indigo for his alleged misbehavior with TV anchor Arnab Goswami aboard an Indigo flight
Delhi Police file a case for murder and arson against Aam Aadmi Party councillor Tahir Hussain. Hussain is believed to have played a role in the murder of IB staffer Ankit Sharma whose body was found in Jafrabad
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Maharashtra: Stunning Development Sees BJP-NCP Government

By Sunil Garodia

About the Author

Sunil Garodia Editor-in-Chief of indiacommentary.com. Current Affairs analyst and political commentator. Writes for a number of publications.

In an absolutely stunning development that left all political pundits and commentators shocked, Devendra Fadnavis took oath as the chief minister of Maharashtra with the support of Ajit Pawar of NCP, who took oath as the deputy chief minister.

Till late yesterday, there was every indication that the Shiv Sena-NCP-Congress combine would stake claim to form the government in Maharashtra with Uddhav Thackeray as the chief minister. NCP supremo Sharad Pawar had confirmed as much. So what happened in the next 8 hours to change all equations? It seems Sena's Sanjay Rout was right when he said that it would take 100 births to understand what Pawar says.

There is speculation that Ajit Pawar acted out of his own accord and brought the NCP on board. But that is next to impossible given the fact that nothing in the NCP moves without Pawar's go ahead and most MLAs owe their loyalty to him. Ajit Pawar neither has the backing nor the authority to take such a momentous decision so late in the game. Although Sharad Pawar has said that he does not endorse Ajit's decision, it remains to be seen what he does now.

The BJP was playing it cool all this while. Even yesterday, Nitin Gadkari said that a Sena-NCP-Congress government would not last for more than 6 months, giving an indication that the party was resigned to sitting in the opposition for now. But it is now clear that it had kept on negotiations with the NCP.

In this whole episode, the Congress has cut a sorry figure while the Shiv Sena has been made a bakra. Despite her reservations, Sonia Gandhi gave her assent only because Sharad Pawar convinced her. Little did she know that parallel games were being played by the NCP! As for the Sena, it has been left high and dry with a broken alliance and lot of things which its leaders said that they will regret in days to come.

The episode shows that despite NCP's chief spokesman saying that Pawar had beaten the Chanakya of Indian politics (in an oblique reference to Amit Shah), it is Shah who has had the last laugh. What remains to be seen, though, is how many NCP MLAs will go with Ajit Pawar if Sharad Pawar disowns him. The BJP-NCP government claims the support of 160 MLAs. Only a floor test will prove the claim.